Government Corruption Trial-Attorney Fred Sempler Testifies

A witness testified today that lobbyist and landfill developer Lanny Young stood to make about one-point-eight million dollar from a deal to build two warehouses for the state that fell apart after Young submitted bogus invoices.

Montgomery attorney Fred Sempler, testifying at the government corruption trial of former Governor Don Siegelman and three others, said a lease was signed on property and paperwork completed to sell bonds for the 20 million dollar project when the project was abandoned in April 2001 amid news reports of the bogus payments.

Young created a firm called Goat Hill Construction Company, even though, according to testimony, he had no previous experience handling warehouse construction projects.

Also on trial are former state transportation director Mack Roberts and ex-HealthSouth boss Richard Scrushy.

Prosecutors claim that bribery and corruption occurred during Siegelman's terms as lieutenant governor and governor from 1995-to-2003.

Also Wednesday, Loretta Nelson, a state revenue department official, testified that the state received more than one million dollars less a year in tax revenue from Chemical Waste Management after the Siegelman administration in 1999 agreed to lower the tax rate paid on some waste dumped at the company's landfill at Emelle.

The trial of Siegelman is in its 17th day Wednesday.

Courtesy: Associated Press